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items tagged with dramas

Thornton and Berry Bring Magic to the "Ball": "Monster's Ball" and 2002 Oscars Postmortem
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-03-27 00:00:00

Billy Bob Thornton, Peter Boyle, and Heath Ledger in Monster's BallMONSTER'S BALL

In Marc Forster’s sterling drama Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry portrays Leticia Musgrove, the wife of a convicted murderer (Sean Combs), who takes the graveyard shift of an all-night Georgia café to support herself and her pre-teen son (Coronji Calhoun). One of her repeat customers is corrections officer Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), son of an unrepentant racist (Peter Boyle) and father of a damaged, depressed son (Heath Ledger). Through a series of tragedies, Leticia and Hank find spiritual and sexual solace in each other’s company, and Monster’s Ball asks the question that, sadly enough, must still be asked in modern-day America: Can black and white find a middle ground and truly exist in harmony?


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Queen of the Guilty Pleasures: "Queen of the Damned," "Hart's War," and "Dragonfly"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-02-27 00:00:00

Aaliyah in Queen of the DamnedQUEEN OF THE DAMNED

Granted, the new year is only eight weeks old, but I already have a nominee for Best Guilty Pleasure of 2002: the Anne Rice adaptation Queen of the Damned. I’m not suggesting the movie is great, or even good, but this tacky amalgam of vampire clichés, hard rock, and MTV posturing is a surprisingly deft and confident work, and about a hundred times more fun than the pompous, enervated Interview with the Vampire.


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Washington Can’t Save the Witless "John Q.": Also, "Collateral Damage"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-02-20 00:00:00

Denzel Washington in John Q.JOHN Q.

In Nick Cassavetes’ soapbox-lecture-cum-thriller John Q., Denzel Washington stars as blue-collar worker John Archibald, a middle-aged Chicagoan struggling with tight finances but deeply in love with his wife, Denise (Kimberly Elise), and a great father to their only son, Mike (Daniel E. Smith). While rounding the bases at a little-league game, Mike collapses, and it’s revealed that Mike’s heart is three times the size it should be; unless the Archibalds can come up with the enormous fee required for a heart transplant, Mike will die. The Archibalds do have health insurance, but because their insurance company recently switched to an HMO (cue the duh-duh-dun music), their coverage is no longer sufficient for Mike’s operation, and when all of their other money-raising options have been eliminated, John arms himself, takes the hospital’s emergency room hostage, and announces that, yes, Mike will be getting that transplant.


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I Damn "Sam": "I Am Sam," "The Mothman Prophecies," and "No Man's Land"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-01-30 00:00:00

Sean Penn and Dakota Fanning in I Am SamI AM SAM

How does one begin to discuss the blinding idiocies of I Am Sam? This comic weepie about Sam (Sean Penn), a mentally challenged Starbucks employee trying to retain custody of his young daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning), is so shockingly offensive, both thematically and as a work of cinema, as to defy rational analysis, so here’s a brief checklist of what made me want to bash my head in:


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The Oscar-Bait Parade Continues...: "Gosford Park," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "In the Bedroom," and "Impostor"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2002-01-16 00:00:00

Gosford ParkGOSFORD PARK

In Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, set in 1932 England, a group of well-to-do guests is invited to a country estate for a shooting party, with their numerous servants in tow, and find their weekend disrupted by the murder of their host.


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